I talk a lot about ways to cut your grocery bill like Using apps to lower your bill or couponing, but there is an easy no hassle way and that meal planning. Doesn’t sound like it but it can save you a pretty penny. Meal planning is just that planning what your meals out in advance, so how’s that going to save you money?
Buying what you need
When you meal plan, you only buy what you need to make those meals. No more wandering through the store just buying what you think you need. Since you’ve planned out your meals you have a list and know what you need to buy and what you don’t. Also, it cuts down on impulse buying.
I have a bad habit of buying things on impulse (you know those chocolate chip cookie that I didn’t need), but meal planning and knowing what I need has helped me get in and get out without wanting to buy random things.
I am not a health nut, but since having my kids and starting the journey to losing weight I have tried to make healthier choices. When I meal plan it allows me to stay on my budget while also planning healthier meals for my family and me.
One of the best things about cooking at home is leftovers. I can send them to work with my husband, so we save the 10$ it would have cost him to eat for that day. It also means I don’t have to cook lunch the following day, and as a busy mom sometimes that’s a life saver.
No more eating out
Meal planning has made a huge difference for us in the eating out category. Some days seem to fly by and before I know it it’s 5o clock, and I have no clue what’s for dinner. Not anymore! I know exactly what I am cooking, so there’s no guesswork.
Another bonus is I don’t have to answer the “what’s for dinner” question 100 times throughout the day.
Plan around sales
A great way to mix savings and meal planning is planning around sales. Let’s say this week chicken is cheap. Well, that’s what we’re going to have more of this week. Or say beans are on sale. Plan your menu around those items.
How do you meal plan?
It’s simple you can either get a calendar or use google calendar and make a draft of what you want to cook and when. I go grocery shopping once every two weeks, but if you go more often or less plan your shopping trip. Since I go grocery shopping once every two weeks, I plan for 16 dinners. 14 regular meals and two trade-offs. I use the trade off’s for night’s I’m just not feeling what I had planned, or I need something super quick.
You don’t have to stick to it. Let’s say you don’t want to plan what night you’re having what. That’s fine. Plan a list around 16 (for two weeks) or 9 if you go weekly dinner ideas. Check them off as you make them, so you know what you have left that you can cook.
Do you plan your meals in advance?
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